A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Legitimate Stupidity

Sorry if I'm a little late to the Todd Akin pile-on party, but there was a mad rush away from him as I came in. I wasn’t surprised that so many were running away from him and his comments about legitimate rape, but I am so surprised that I was nearly run over by a stampede of Republican elephants. 

And there are some big name elephants in the stampede: Romney, Rove, McConnell, Brown, Christie! It is just amazing! I’ll get back to them later, but, for the time being, let’s pile on the soon-to-be-ex-Congressman from Missouri.

For anyone who may have missed his comments (and, by the way, welcome back to reality, both of you), Akin was asked about his opposition to abortion in cases of rape during an interview on the Fox News affiliate in St Louis. The GOP Senate candidate explained that, from his understanding, pregnancy from rape is really rare. Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there. He continued, and in the words of Olsen and Johnson, “Now the trouble begins.”

Akin: If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. He did go on to explain that sometimes this doesn’t work and ultimately the rapist is the one who should be punished. However, in the spirit of parsed down sound bites (like “I like to fire people” and “You didn’t build that”), we’re cutting it off at the end of the first sentence!

This is not the first time that a Republican legislator at the state level has put forward this outrageous thesis. Pennsylvanians may remember, perhaps not too fondly, Stephen Freind, a representative from Delaware County who pushed an extremely restrictive abortion measure in 1988. At that time, Freind argued that it was nearly impossible to get pregnant from a rape because the experience causes a woman to “secrete a certain secretion” which tends to kill sperm. If memory serves me correctly, Freind cited the findings from medical experiments performed by the Nazis during World War Two as the source of his factoid. Shortly after Freind made his statement, members of the medical profession proclaimed his idea as “scientifically baseless”.

Fast forward a full generation, and we see Freind’s beliefs are alive and well in the bosom of the GOP. I can only imagine how Akin believes the woman is able to shut the whole thing down. Please explain this, Mr. Akin. Do you actually believe that the ovum, seeing three million sperm swimming towards it, puts up a huge stop sign and explains (perhaps with a very tiny bullhorn), “Hold it right there guys! I need to know if you were welcomed in here willingly, or if you forced your way in. Because if you forced your way in, I’m just gonna have to shut you down now!” Talk about putting the brakes on illegal immigration!

Reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyy, Mr. Akin? Is this how it is suppose to work?

His opponent in the Senate race, who as luck would have it is a woman, pounced on Akin's comment. Since then, many politicians and pundits, and to their credit more than a few of them Republicans, have called for Akin to withdraw from the race. Even Romney/Ryan expressed their shock and called Aiken’s remarks “inexcusable”.

Reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyy, Romney/Ryan? How can Akin's choice of semantics be any more inexcusable than the legislative actions you have supported over the years?

Hey Ryan, what about your bill to prohibit public funding for abortion, but since the law already banned public funding for abortion except in cases of rape, your proposal would actually shut off funds for rape as well? Or about your own attempt to reframe the definition of rape in the Republican anti-choice paradigm: a federal act which would recognize the personhood of the fetus at the time of conception? This latter attempt shows that it is indeed a small world after all: Todd Akin co-sponsored this legislation. Romney, to his credit, denounced Akin’s comments, yet the GOP is preparing a plank for their party platform calling for a federal ban on abortion without giving exceptions for rape or incest.

Reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyy, GOP? Do you really want to pursue this idea after this debacle?

As of today, Akin has apologized, but refuses to quit the race. I have mixed feelings about his quitting the race: if he stays in, it will be an easy victory for the Democratic incumbent, Claire McCaskill. On the other hand, Akin is clearly too legitimately stupid to hold any kind of public office ever again. If nothing else, I hope considers changing his name; his remarks have embarrassed “Todds” everywhere!

Perhaps he could change his name to something more appropriate for his current crisis. Something along the lines of “Richard”. That way, we can refer to him as “Dick”. Oh wait, many women have probably already renamed him that in the last 48 hours. Never mind…

(Thank you for reading. Somewhere, Stephen Freind is weeping…tears of joy!)


Anonymous Senator Janey said...


THANK YOU for reminding me of the details of the Stephen Freind case. I was trying to recall those details when I was having a discussion with my professorial colleagues, who are also outraged by Akin's comments. And did you catch how Akin followed it up by saying that many "legitimate rapes" are anal, as "those guys" seem to prefer it that way? He used that insight to further justify the reduced chance of pregnancy from rape. I assume that Akin would not object to being anally raped, as he would not get pregnant. May we should hook him up with former senator Larry Craig...!

Love, Janey

August 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Beautifully said, with the right touch of whimsy and indignation.

August 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger anne marie in philly said...

my friend nikki in OH said it best:

"I’m not sure how many more Republicans can fit in my vagina. I’m gonna have to start charging rent if they keep working their way in there."

August 22, 2012 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you for the comment, Bob. Please come back soon. Janey and Anne Marie...your check is in the mail!

August 22, 2012 at 6:46 PM  

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